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Cycling for fun and sanity.

Let's ride and explore: Nuclear Power Plant & Industrial Ruins

It's Sunday, 8 o'clock, we knew we wanted to go ride our bikes today, but had not yet made a plan where to. I had two options in mind: for the upcoming Orbit360 series two tracks had been planned in the Hamburg area. Since one of the tracks included a place we had already ridden many times, the Holmer Sandberge, we decided to go for the other one. Our friends Johanna & Timo had scouted this track and I had seen interesting photos of it. But since we didn't want to ride 190km, we replanned the track and made ourselves a barely 100km variant.

After having breakfast, at least for me since Jana didn't really feel like eating a lot this morning, we were about to get ready. Well... Jana was. I myself first had to go on a quest for my socks. Do you know this situation? You're searching the drawer for the pair of socks you're looking for, but you just can't find 'em. You're looking again and again and all of a sudden the socks appear right in front of your eyes? How blind can one be? Anyway. Let's just download the route to the Wahoo and off we go.

cyclist in front of a wall with two bikes

Since we wanted to exit the city on the eastern side, we first had to cross it, but luckily this is not quite as annoying on a Sunday than on other days. Via the Oberhafen connection we headed out via Moorfleet and the Allermöher Wiesen in the direction of... Wait, stop, first there was this tree lying across the path, but somehow lying is the wrong way to put it, it was hanging over the path, not low enough to just climb over it, not high enough to just walk under it. What seemed to be easier for Jana in comparison, for me was the first reason to moan about what this is all about. I pushed the bike underneath, took the camera off my back and then somehow crawled underneath in a squatting position. Must have looked pretty ridiculous to outsiders.

Soon after, we stopped for the first time for a small break at a lake near Neuallermöhe.

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On we went through Neuallermöhe, artificially created, somehow boring, but in some way also quite nice, at least the houses with access to water and a canoe in the garden. Quite nice. Did I take a picture? No, of course not.

Missed the exit briefly, turned around and then crossed under the highway on a narrow, dark footbridge. And then continued on gravel.

Shortly after, we entered the really beautiful forest around the Dalbekschlucht. Where there is forest, there are trees and where there are trees, there...? That's right, there are trees on the paths. And not too scarce. In addition, a really mini mini mini brook.

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The last climb we pushed the bikes up, as it was kind of nasty. First a nice downhill on gravel, then a 90 ° turn and it goes uphill. Unfortunately, people were standing in the middle of the turn at that very moment so we had to slow down to 0. That day Jana was already struggling with her allergies and breathing, so we took a short break after the climb. She had her vegan jerky all to herself. For some reason, I just can't enjoy these.

This was followed by a really beautiful stretch of forest with ups and downs. Wonderful. I would have wanted to stop at pretty much every corner and take photos, but we wanted to keep going.

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In retrospect, I would have liked to spare myself what followed, but I was probably too impulsive on the road that day. Somewhere in Geesthacht a muscular guy from his car lectured me that there was a bike path. While I confirmed I was aware of this, to his request to use it then, out of reflex, I replied with a "shut the fuck up" and so it ended up with him offering me, as to be expected, to punch me in the face. Fortunately for me, he then probably had another thought and drove off. But I wasn't sure until the point where our ways separated, at the next intersection, whether he would not consider it again. Well, I was lucky and maybe next time I will just be quiet or find a more diplomatic answer...

Via a mile-long private road, we then went to the next pause location: the Krümmel nuclear power plant.

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The Krümmel Nuclear Power Plant is a German nuclear power plant in Geesthacht. It was taken into operation in 1983. The reactor was the world's second largest of its type in commercial operation. Since 2011 it is shutdown due to popular demand.

As we stood above the power plant it was not a queasy feeling, but it was a strange feeling in some way.

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Having taken a break, we went on through the forest in the direction of Besenhorster Sandberge. Not without getting into another short conflict with an SUV driver who felt that the road belonged to her. Somehow this was not my day in conjunction with people in cars. Anyway.

I was very curious about the Besenhorster Sandberge, because there are still parts of the ruins of a former dynamite factory. I had seen them on photos and absolutely wanted to shoot a few photos there, too.

Unfortunately, it was relatively busy and other photographers with models were at work there. Thus, both the quiet and the space to take more photos was not given. Anyway, we can always go there again.

The scenery as a whole is very fascinating, because nature is reclaiming the area here. The buildings were covered with greenery on the roofs during the Second World War to protect them from attacks, but now even trees can be discovered on the roofs. Really interesting.

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After the somewhat longer break in the Sandberge, we headed back towards Hamburg. As beautiful and relaxing the old Marschbahndamm is, because you just ride for many many miles without any cars through greenery, it can also be boring, because you just ride straight ahead for what feels like eternities. Perhaps this monotony also led me to complain more about my tired legs and pain in the back. The camera on the back is just not always so optimal. Let's see, we will test alternatives.

There' s not much more to tell about the way back and we didn't take any more photos. Therefore, the only thing left to do is to link our route on Komoot.

- Björn